Long hospital stay - internet use and anything else

Discussion in 'Japan Practical' started by KyushuWoozy, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. KyushuWoozy

    KyushuWoozy Sempai
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    I'll almost certainly need to spend 2.5 - 3 months in hospital soon (luckily nothing too serious, just seems hospital stays in Japan are insanely long compared to other countries).

    For my job (and probably for my sanity) I'll need to work online on my Mac. The doctor and his nurse couldn't confirm if it's "allowed" or not, and the guy in Yamada Denki also mentioned it might not be allowed. Anyone have any experience of working online on a laptop in hospital here?

    Also wondering which internet pocket WiFi option works best. Seems Winmax, Softbank, Docomo and Ymobile all require 2-year contracts and have hefty fees if you want to quit the contract early. Also Yamada Denki guy says might not work well if I'm on lower floors of hospital.

    The best alternative I've found seems to be Yamada Denki Y.U mobile (ニュモバイル). I'd need to buy a mobile router for about ¥20,000 then buy a SIM to stick into it from Yamada Denki and subscribe monthly (about ¥1,000-5,000 per month depending on data usage). The advantage of this is that I only need to subscribe month by month and don't need to lock into long contract. Anyone used this system - how's the speed and reliability?

    Simple tethering from my phone (with Bic SIM) never seems to work well.

    Any other tips for long-term hospital stay? Heard it can be a stricter than other countries ...

    Thanks ...
     
  2. Mike Cash

    Mike Cash 骨も命も皆此の土地に埋めよう

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    Ear plugs. Ear plugs. Ear plugs.

    Long or short term..... ear plugs.

    If you don't want the hassle of laundering your own, you can get rental pajamas from the hospital.

    If you have an IV, the nurses will show you the bag before they start each one. The idea is that you verify it is your name on the label. My personal suggestion is that you also check that the name of the medicine on the name label also matches the name of the medicine on the bag itself. I've seen labels that have fallen off and I've seen the wrong medicine delivered to the wrong patient. Almost never happens, but you don't want to be the one who gets his name in the newspaper.

    Take an eye mask, even if you don't use one at home.

    If you like rice just as much as the next guy but find three times a day a bit much, tell them. You can have bread substituted if you want. I always had them switch to bread with breakfast.

    If you're the least bit fussy about what pillow you sleep on, bring your own from home. Lots of people do.

    Make use of the day room, cafeteria, etc. as much as you can. Go for walks, even if it's just a tour of the corridors in your ward. If you're going to be off the ward, leave a note by your bed telling where you went and when you'll be back. Nurses don't mind you wandering off so long as they know where to find you.

    Go take a look at the newborn babies every once in a while. It's a great break in the monotony and it's nice to see some happy people for a change.

    You'll never have a better opportunity to work on your Japanese and get some practical application experience. Try to take advantage of the opportunity when you're caught up on your work.

    Did I mention ear plugs? Get some nice comfortable ear plugs.
     
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  3. johnnyG

    johnnyG 先輩

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    One hospital a while back had "internet", but while mail would work, anything that you'd normally think of as being internet, would not.

    Another place I was in for a couple of extended stays had full-blown wired internet--indistinguishable from what we have at home (tho home is wi-fi). No cost, no questions asked, no up/down limits, etc. Wife and I considered setting up an extra router there, but decided not to.

    I had a private room. They were picky about even the smallest sounds from my laptop speakers after lights out, but I could otherwise browse all night if I wanted to. Without a private room, I'm pretty sure you'd have to shut down everything at bedtime.

    Bring your own pillow--DEFINITELY!

    I used the rental PJs and towel sets. This made it easier on the wife.

    Meals: I was cool with rice x3. A side benefit is that you get used to low salt. We've never adjusted back to 'regular' salt levels. If someone brings something pre-cooked in to you, it will taste like a salt bomb. Most meals were fine, but some were not. I found that having snack stuff on the side was the best way to compensate--fruit, nuts, yoghurt, cheeses (my room had a mini fridge), or whatever suits you. Mine didn't, but if you're in a big place, there might be a restaurant or two, a 売店 with bento/onigiri and other snacks.

    I never needed ear plugs, but I did use an eye pillow Make Your Own Eye Pillows - Yoga Journal (better than an eye mask)--an easy google. It never gets totally dark, and as Mike says, this is important. And even if you're in a private, nurses will walk in with lights just to check on you, or everyone, if you're not.

    Later in my stays I would sometimes do early evening visits to close-by izakayas, or to the closest combini and then sit out front with a beer or two, but you do have to know when the front doors get locked (or not) or which doors remain open or not after hours.

    Good luck!
     
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  4. KyushuWoozy

    KyushuWoozy Sempai
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    Some great info here, lots of stuff I'd never considered like ear plugs, eye pads and even own pillow.

    As Mike said it's a great chance to work on my Japanese which is still horrible but slooowly getting better after a few months living with my in-laws. It'll help too that my Doc who'll be doing the operations doesn't seem to speak a word of English. A private room would be nice but it'd isolate me a lot so I'll probably skip that option and dive right in.

    I'm curious about how flexible they are about laptop use. The nurse originally mentioned that it's not allowed in bed, but only in day room. This sucks because I'll be immobile for a significant time but my wife said to definitely NOT ask permission, better just brass it out and see what happens.

    For non-Japanese speakers not completely familiar with the national insurance system here I found this:

    https://yosida.com/forms/nationalins.pdf

    .... surprised to see meals are charged separately but overall the total cost for everything will be a snip (pun intended) compared to anywhere else I could get it now I've forfeited my uk free care from the NHS.

    Thanks for all the great info.
     
  5. Mike Cash

    Mike Cash 骨も命も皆此の土地に埋めよう

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  6. johnnyG

    johnnyG 先輩

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    Yeah, get ready for a blizzard of paperwork & explanations, and set your hanko on 'automatic'.

    Of my two recent stays, the first was 63 days, the second was five weeks--but at least I'm mobile now.

    One thing to keep in mind: maybe a month into the first stay I contracted pneumonia (hospital acquired ~ ). I had six broken ribs and tho they had me on oxygen, I probably wasn't breathing too well. It felt like a bad flu the first few days, then got bad over a weekend, and they caught it early Monday. Thought I was going to die, or that dying would feel better. It took three weeks to feel kind of normal, and the meds for that went on for another month.

    It was a psychological blow--getting sicker by being in hospital. The place didn't look the same to me after that. Really wanted to get away from there, and pushed for checking out as soon as they'd let me.

    So if it feels like you're getting the flu... Be forewarned.
     
  7. johnnyG

    johnnyG 先輩

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    Also, save all of your receipts--if your bills go over ¥100k you can claim medical expenses at tax time.
     
  8. johnnyG

    johnnyG 先輩

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    This might have been as issue at my place had I not had a private room.

    You said you thought you might feel isolated in a private, but you can use the commons area as much and as often as you want--magazines, newspapers, of course a TV...! The other people will be there because they don't want to stay in their rooms with the other people in their rooms. You can be as social as you want, and then retreat.
     
  9. Mike Cash

    Mike Cash 骨も命も皆此の土地に埋めよう

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    I never had any trouble with the other people in the room with me; the Navy did a good job teaching me to live in cramped quarters.

    The problem is usually the visitors the other people in the room have. They're the ones you'll need the ear plugs for.
     
  10. KyushuWoozy

    KyushuWoozy Sempai
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    Thanks Mike for that document, wife says it's super-useful and has started ploughing through it (along with all the tax and accounting stuff she's got to work through because we just started our company).

    Good info too johnny, thanks, we're both still pretty hazy about tax stuff here but learning fast.

    Interesting to note how happily the hospital games the system. They are planning it as a 5 week stay (right leg) and then 6+ week stay (left leg) ... but with a week at home in between because it seems that will work in my favour (and I guess theirs) with the health insurance system.

    Yea, my friend is a nurse. Says hospitals are horrible places where you can catch horrible things and operations often go wrong and people end up worse than they started. He avoids them like ... er, the plague ... and advised me against this operation (knees). Hoping to prove him wrong.

    I'll go for public ward first - hopefully it's Japanese language I pick up rather than pneumonia.

    Thanks all ...
     
  11. johnnyG

    johnnyG 先輩

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    The nice thing about a long stay is that you can go to PT every day by just rolling over to where it is (no need to get to the hospital and back). And since you're an inpatient, there's no front/back end--no check-in and no wait at kaikei when leaving. It'll just be part of your monthly bill. Note: when my stay overlapped a month's end, a day or few later they'd give me the bill for the previous month (even tho I hadn't checked out). I would pay it (or my wife), and there was an ATM to get money.

    And compared to the doc, it's the PT person assigned to you that you will be chatting the most with. I was lucky to have the same person throughout (probably 200 or more 40-minute sessions, all told). When you work together with a PT person that much, who is on you pushing your body around, you get to know each other.

    There were a lot of knees being done where I was, the doc was good at it, and these folks were often on the PT tables next to me.

    Besides the ribs, and my collarbone in two places, there was this. After the first surgery two plates to stabilize things:
    Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 21.00.45.png

    And then the second: (hip socket, broken, didn't heal well/right)
    Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 20.59.55.png

    I'm not sure about knees, probably Cobalt-Chromium, which is what most of the hip is (plates above are titanium).

    I've been thru airports since, without any flashing lights and sirens going off.
     
  12. johnnyG

    johnnyG 先輩

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    #12 johnnyG, Nov 14, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
    Hey, here's one, probably the day I entered the hospital: :emoji_astonished:

    pelvis-broken.jpg

    (June 24, 2015)
     
  13. KyushuWoozy

    KyushuWoozy Sempai
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    Well, the 'after' photos sure like better than the 'before' ones. I live in a town seriously skewed towards oldies with barely a youngster in sight - I expect they're experts on knees and hips.
     
  14. KyushuWoozy

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    Done with my 3 months in hospital so thought I'd update in case others are wondering:

    1. Phone use is completely banned in the ward area (but everyone ignored it)

    2. Laptops completely banned anywhere and looked like just me ignored it. However I did it vaguely surreptitiously (curtains drawn around my bed) so confrontation avoided and nobody seemed to mind.

    ... not sure if this info useful though because from this thread seems each hospital has its own policy.
     
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  15. Majestic

    Majestic 先輩

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    How was the stay, the care, the noise, the food, the cost, the bureaucracy? Did you get patched up all right? Are you back on your feet and tap-dancing again?
     
  16. KyushuWoozy

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    #16 KyushuWoozy, Jul 28, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2018
    The stay: no problems

    The care: good but stingy with pain meds yet overgenerous with sleeping tablets

    The noise: I'm not particularly noise sensitive so didn't bother me ... However at night lots of grunting, mumbling, snoring, farting, groaning (like a farmyard)

    The food: dull but healthy, rice 20 x a week, bread 1 X week. Guys only get 1900 calories a day (though can bring as much outside stuff as you want) so I trimmed down a bit

    The cost: very reasonable I would say, from memory I had to pay about ¥150,000 in total (I'm on NHI)

    The bureaucracy: my wife handled it but nothing extraordinary

    ... Jury still out with outcome. I have to go back for another 1-2 weeks to get metal stuff removed.

    In summary: obviously operations / hospitals aren't fun, but no big complaints
     
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  17. johnnyG

    johnnyG 先輩

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    I'm glad it all worked out for you. As for the outcome (knees), keep at the PT as long as you can.
     
  18. thomas

    thomas Unswerving cyclist
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    Good luck with your knee and glad you're out of the hospital!
     

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